F Reddi??, Prisoner Casework,

Public Protection Casework Section,

Public Protection Group,

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service,

14th Floor, Southern House,  Wellesley Grove,



Dear Mr/Ms/Other Reddi??,


Melanie Shaw


Thank you for your letter dated 4 July, 2018.  Unfortunately it does nothing to allay my concerns regarding the way Melanie has been treated in UK prisons over the past four years, nor does it clarify why this British subject (subject, please note, not to the apparatus of the state but to the common law) was imprisoned, and whether the sentence she received was normal for the offence for which she was charged.   


You say that the information I requested “regarding Ms Shaw’s conviction and why she has spent the past two years in solitary confinement are personal information”.  This claim is at best mistaken. The information I requested would have been presented publicly at Melanie’s trial, if this had been conducted in a regular manner in open court: and no explanation has been offered as to why, in flagrant disregard for the requirement that justice should be seen to be done, the hearing took place behind closed doors.  I put my questions to the prison authorities with a view to obtaining some reassurance that, despite all appearances to the contrary, Melanie had been tried, convicted and sentenced fairly. You have chosen not to give me that reassurance. From your refusal to discuss my very reasonable concerns, I can only conclude that the protections of the common law are being deliberately violated in Melanie’s case, and that we are now living under a regime which feels free to by-pass the basic assumptions of natural justice with impunity.


I also asked you to provide evidence that Melanie did not wish the reasons for her imprisonment and solitary confinement to be made known, suggesting that you forward a copy of any documentation, signed by Melanie herself, which backs up your refusal to cooperate in this matter.  This you have failed to do, merely repeating your parrot cry of “Data Protection Act” and claiming once more that “… on this occasion it has not been possible” to obtain Melanie’s consent. My query as to whether “the impossibility of obtaining Melanie’s consent springs from her reluctance to give it, or from your reluctance to ask her for it” is discreetly ignored.  Failing concrete proof of Melanie’s personal embargo on the relevant information, it is only reasonable to conclude that the facts of the case are being withheld on orders from above.


Please answer the questions put to you in my letter of 31 May, 2018 (copy enclosed).  I would be grateful if you would type your name beneath your signature in your next letter, as it was not entirely legible in the last.


Yours sincerely,
          Gillian Swanson

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